More facts are needed. Consult counsel to further discuss.
As a general matter, to establish a claim for defamation, a plaintiff must demonstrate the following elements: (1) a defamatory statement; (2) published to a third person; (3) which is false; and (4) that tends to harm his/her reputation and to lower him in the estimation of the community. The statute of limitations for defamation claims in Minnesota is two years.
When in the workplace, the larger issue will be whether or not the statement/writing was made in good faith and upon a proper occasion, from a proper motive, and was based on reasonable or probable cause, or if the alleged defamatory statement/writing was made with malice. When the latter, you likely have a viable claim.
As you might surmise, a defamation analysis is very fact specific. Again, consult with an attorney to learn of your legal recourse, if any. Many employment attorneys, including myself, offer free consultations and would be glad to further discuss.
Adam W. Klotz
FREE CONSULTATIONS- 612.223.6767 ext. 3
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In certain cases, employers have been held liable for the release of information related to employment. There are not enough facts to establish whether this is one of those cases. Generally, it is dangerous for an employer to release information about a former employee other than name and dates of employment. From the facts presented it is unknown whether you may have a cause of action against the American Legion as a result of the statements of a Board Member. Other facts would be needed, including the reasons for potential termination, before a legal analysis could be made of your legal remedies.
Nothing in this answer should be construed as legal advise and does not establish an attorney-client relationship without a signed legal services agreement
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